Historic Exterior Drawings of Tower 19

Tower 19 is fortunate in that this structure was documented as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey program of National Park Service and these survey documents are preserved by the Library of Congress. As part of the Texas Interlocking Towers web site, we present a portion of these documents as part of the efforts to document Tower 19.

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) are among the largest and most heavily used collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. The collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies including examples as diverse as windmills, one-room schoolhouses, the Golden Gate Bridge, and buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. As of March 1998, America's built environment has been recorded through surveys containing more than 363,000 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 35,000 historic structures and sites dating from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.

The preserved drawings of Tower 19 are very large. On this web page, we have edited the drawings in an effort to make them more presentable to a user of the internet. Tower 19 itself is preserved at the Dallas Railway Museum.

Drawing Title Block

Tower 19 Location Map

 Tower 19 Site Plan

Control Tower 19 is the best preserved example of an early twentieth century interlocking plant remaining in Dallas County. The tower and two sheds comprise a complex which is representative of standardized service buildings which were constructed by the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad (AT&SF) as well as other carriers west of the Mississippi. These buildings represent typical plan types which were generated by AT&SF company engineers and constructed by company crews along local and branch lines within the company's service area.

Built with greater variation than the standard plans for stations and depots, interlocking plants were constructed to control the increasing rail traffic along the company's routes through Dallas and other major transfer hubs during the early twentieth century. The building of Tower 19 in 1924 coincided with a major reconstruction program which AT&SF undertook in the 1920's throughout its service area. Constructed initially with a manual interlocking system to work in tandem with a second plant (Tower 10), Tower 19 was retrofitted in 1932 with the more reliable electric interlocking system, supplied by the General Railway Signal Company of Rochester, New York. This consolidated the switching functions of both towers into one, and allowed AT&SF to raze Tower 10, thereby reducing its labor and maintenance costs. Tower 19 remained in service until 1992, when AT&SF sold most of its Texas holdings to Burlington Northern and this section of the, Dallas Subdivision to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority (DART).

This recording project was funded by the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority (DART) and, undertaken as part of the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) in order to mitigate the adverse effect of its removal (along with a maintenance and tool shed) under the provisions of section 106 as set forth by the Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. Section 470(f). The removal is necessitated by construction of a light rail transit system.

The field work and measured drawings were prepared by Architexas of Dallas. The recording team consisted of Larry Irsik and Craig King. Historical research and architectural analysis were conducted and prepared by Stan Solamillo of Dallas. Archival photography was done by Brendan Dunnigan of Arlington.

South and West Elevation Drawings

North and East Elevation Drawings

Tower 19 Interior Drawings



Last Revised: 9/13/2008 JGK - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.